Lemon Curd. White cake. Coconut. Buttercream. What’s not to love? This cake has a story behind it. It was my gramma’s favorite cake. As each of my siblings and I tasted it for the first time it quickly became ours too. So much so that when each of us was asked to speak a bit about her at her funeral, we each spoke of that cake. Yep. It is that good.
Gramma always said if you want good food begin with good ingredients. So that’s what we do.Begin by making an old all time favorite recipe. It is from Betty Crocker’s cookbook from the 1950s. The Silver White Cake. This is a fool proof recipe that produces a light airy cake but is still dense enough to fill and frost. That’s why it was Gramma’s choice always. The cake, for best results, should be baked a day ahead of time and chilled. If you don’t have the time the cake will still be delicious, yet will have a tendency to fall apart once cut.
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 tsp vanilla
4 large egg whites
Mix together dry ingredients. Mix in butter. Pour in milk, water, and extract. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add egg whites to mix and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two eight inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until done. Cool cake, trim to prep for filling, brush with simple syrup wrap in saran wrap and chill over night.
While your cake is baking make your lemon curd. It is best when chilled over night too. It definitely needs to be chilled at least a couple of hours prior to use as a filling.
You’ll also want a good buttercream to frost your cake. I recommend a simple recipe, without added flavoring. You do not want to collide an almond or creme bouquet flavor with the lemon or coconut. Also an added lemon extract or oil to this buttercream will overwhelm you with lemon. Let the curd stand alone and keep your buttercream simple.I’ll post my really good recipe tomorrow for now use this:
3lbs of Powdered Sugar, 1 cup of hot water – mix together until the mixture forms a ribbon of sugary goodness. Now add your butter (1 lb unsalted) and 1.5 pounds of vegetable shortening. Mix together for 14 minutes and you’re good to go. (I will usually just use all butter and skip the shortening unless I’m making frosting for a wedding cake that has to be white.) Cover with saran wrap and chill if you must, keeping in mind that you need it spreadable to do the cake so factor that into your time frame.
The next day, assemble this dream cake. Torte your layers (split cut them in half) on the bottom layer put a 1/4 inch layer of frosting. Add a layer of lemon curd over the frosting. add another layer of cake. On this layer just add the lemon curd. Spread it thick about 3/8 inch and place the next cake layer on top of this. Now spread another layer of frosting and lemon curd over the frosting. Top with top cake layer. You may want to refrigerate this for about 15 minutes to allow the curd to harden up a bit.
Now frost your cake as usual. Top, sides all in buttercream. Add lemon curd to the top of the cake when you’re done with the frosting. Sprinkle sweetened coconut on top of the lemon curd and pat coconut into the sides of the cake. This step is particularly messy. Just keep picking up coconut and adding it back to the sides until you’ve got it covered. CHill to set up and then serve at room temperature. You’ll dream of this cake it is so good. Look what you’ve made: